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Barns & Equipment

Whether using a tiestall, freestall, dry lot or pasture, here are some tips for cow comfort and maintaining farm facilities and equipment.

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Today’s wheel loaders have never been easier to operate and maintain. They’re also designed with many enhancements similar to those you’ve come to expect in your pickup truck.

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Guided-flow or free-flow cow traffic is an important question to ask in the design and management planning of any automated milking system adoption.

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Driven by a need to upgrade milking facilities and reduce dependence on labor, three different dairy farms opted for automated milking.

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The planning, building and startup of a new (or retrofit, rebuild or extension) milking parlor is a uniquely exciting, challenging and stressful event. Financial deadlines are real. Construction fatigue is real.

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Over the last two decades, initially through improvements in feeding and nutrition and subsequently through facility design changes and enhanced management, we have seen positive progress in early lactation milk performance and health improvements in those farms that have chosen to embrace these changes. Much of the effort has been focused on the dry period – in particular, the pre-fresh or close-up period – and the maternity or calving area.

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When Nebraska dairyman Bob Larson built his robotic dairy barn nearly three years ago, he knew right off the bat that water quality was important to cow health and productivity. What he didn’t expect, however, was to run a water treatment trial that would clearly show a 7-pound per cow difference in milk production.

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